Office of Student Financial Management

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1 February 2015 Office of Student Financial Management Kasia Palm: Director of Student Financial Management

2 What is Credit? - The ability to obtain goods/services before payment based on the trust that a payment will be made in the future - Borrowed money that you pay back at a specified time - Credit Cards, Overdraft Protection (Line of Credit), Student Loans, Mortgages, Car Loans, Pay Day Loans, etc.

3 What is a Credit Report? - A history of your past credit activities - Including balances and payment history - Includes: - Credit Information (closed and open accounts) - Credit Cards - Loan Accounts - Lines of Credit - Pay Day Loans - Public Record Information - Recent Inquiries (who has obtained your credit report) Hard Inquiries - Doesn t Include - Bank account information - Investments, Retirement Accounts, etc

4 Public Records - Judgment or lawsuit (financially related) - Foreclosure - Bankruptcy - State/Federal Tax Lien - Wage garnishment - Past-due Child Support

5 Inquiries - Hard Inquiries - Occur when a creditor checks your credit report for the purpose of granting you a line of credit - Reported on your credit report for 2 years. Have a small impact on your credit score - Soft Inquiries - Occur when someone checks your credit on your behalf - Employer background check - Identity verification - Pre-approved offers - You check your own credit report - Viewable only by you and have no impact on score - Sometimes, it may not be obvious what kind of inquiry the company is initiating - Apartment rental applications - Opening TV/Cable accounts - Car rentals - Opening a new bank account - You can always ask the company completing the credit check, what type of inquiry they ll initiate

6 Who can see your Credit Report? - Creditors who are considering granting or have granted you credit - Employers considering you for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention - Insurers considering you for an insurance policy or reviewing an existing policy - Government agencies reviewing your financial status or government benefits - Anyone with a legitimate business need for the information, such as a potential landlord, cable company, etc - YOU

7 What is a Negative Account? - Has Late Payments (30, 60, 90 days overdue) - In Collections - Charged-off - Defaulted

8 What is reported and for how long? - Open Accounts - always - Closed Accounts for 7 years - Negative Accounts 7 years from original delinquency - Bankruptcies 10 yrs (Ch 7) or 7yrs (Ch 13/re-org) - Public Records 7 years - Tax Liens 7 years after its paid - Hard Inquiries 2 years

9 Where do Credit Reports Come From? - Credit Bureaus collect and sell credit information - Information these bureaus use comes from the parties that have extended credit to you - A creditor may report your account information to all or none of the credit bureaus - information obtained from the different bureaus may vary - There are 3 major nationwide credit bureaus - Equifax - - Transunion - Experian

10 Checking your Report It is very important to check your credit reports regularly. - Know where you stand - Helps protect against fraud or identity theft - Credit reports can have ERRORS that hurt your score - Make sure to monitor each of your credit reports as they may have different information

11 How to check your report - You are entitled to 1 free credit report from each of the 3 bureaus annually - AnnualCreditReport.com - NOT FreeCreditReport.com - This website provides a free credit score when you sign up for their credit monitoring service - Go directly to credit bureau s website ($1-$10)

12 Other Free Ways to get Report - Under Colorado law, you are also entitled to 1 free credit report from each of the credit bureaus each year (so, you could get 2 free reports per year) - If denied credit, insurance or a job due to your credit report, you are entitled to a free report within 60 days - Unemployed and looking for work - Report is inaccurate due to fraud - Some websites - Quizzle, Credit Sesame, Credit Karma - provide free reports more often than yearly

13 What is a Credit Score? - A numeric rating assigned based on your credit report - Represents your creditworthiness to potential creditors, employers, etc. - The most common score used for this purpose is the FICO score (developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation) - Ranges from Because each bureau has different data, you may have 3 different FICO scores - Another score is the VantageScore - Ranges from Often sold by the 3 credit bureaus to customers - Uses a slightly different calculation than the FICO score

14 Credit Score Details

15 Credit Score Components Payment History: 35% FICO or 32% VantageScore - On-time payments help your score - Late payments hurt your score - Payments are reported as 30, 60, 90, or120 days late Credit Utilization: 30% FICO or 45% VantageScore (Utilization 23%, Balances 15% and Available Credit 7%) - The amount of credit you are using compared to how much credit you have available - keeping credit utilization below 30% is good - keeping credit utilization below 10% is excellent

16 Credit Score Components Length of History: 15% FICO - The longer history you have the better - Usually, anything less than 7 years hurts your score Account Diversity: 10% FICO - Having a more diversified credit portfolio helps your score. - Accounts are categorized as: - Revolving (credit cards, lines of credit) - Installment (loans) - Real Estate (mortgage) Depth of Credit: 13% VantageScore - Combination of Length of History and Account Diversity New Credit: 10% - Too many hard inquiries (those where a creditor is checking your credit for the purpose of qualifying you for credit) can hurt your score

17 Understanding your Credit Score FICO : EXCELLENT : GOOD : FAIR : POOR : VERY POOR VantageScore : A, Super Prime : B, Prime Plus : C, Prime : D, Non-Prime : F, High Risk

18 Ways you may be hurting your credit 1 Closing old Credit Card Accounts 2 Missing Payments 3 Settling Past Due Accounts 4 Over-Utilizing Credit 5 Shopping Around Too Much for Credit

19 Qualifying for Credit The following are criteria that creditors use to qualify you for credit: - Character Will you repay your debt? How have you paid your bills in the past? (credit report) - Collateral What will the lender get if you don t repay your debt? - Secured loans (car loans, mortgages) usually have lower interest rates than unsecured loans (personal loans, credit cards) because the lender will get something (car, house) if you default - Capacity Can you repay your debt based on your available income? (debt to income ratio) - Capital What is your net worth? - Again, if you have a higher net worth, the lender is more likely to recoup the money they lent you if you default - Conditions What is the overall economic situation? This will have a high impact on availability of credit and rates.

20 Building Your Credit - Get added as an authorized user to another person s account (relative, significant other) - Set up a secured credit card - Obtain a co-signer for loans

21 Debit Card Pros and Cons PROs - Convenient - Secure - Interest free - Can help you track your spending - Can be used to get cash at ATMs or with merchants CONs - Can be declined if you don t have enough money in your account - Overdraft fees can be costly - Using a debit card wisely has no impact on your credit

22 Credit Card Pros and Cons PROs - Convenient - Secure - Interest free, if paid off in full each month - Can help you track your spending - Can give you rewards or cash back - Can provide additional protection for certain purchases - Can be useful in an emergency situation - Help build your credit CONs - Interest charges if you carry a balance from month to month (interest of 10-30%) - Late fees and higher interest rates if not paid on time - May give you the illusion that you have more money than you really have - Can have an annual fee

23 Credit Card Dos and Don ts DOs - Pay your bill on time - Pay your balance in full, if you can - Reduce your credit card use if you can t pay off your card in full - Check your statement/ account activity regularly - Read 0% financing offers carefully - Can cost you A LOT in interest if not paid off by end of promo period - Understand your terms and conditions DON Ts - Max out your credit card - Make purchases you can t afford - Make only minimum payments - Buy things on credit just to get rewards/cash back - If not paying your card of fully next month, how much will that reward cost you.

24 Importance of Budgeting - Ensures you don t spend money that you don t have - Can shed light on some bad spending habits - You may see areas where you are spending money on things you really don t need - Helps you prepare for emergencies - Gives you peace of mind - By following a budget, you ll have control over your financial life, rather than it controlling you. - Helps you meet your financial goals - Paying off loans, taking trips, retirement, etc. - Can help you maintain (or improve) your credit

25 Tracking your Spending - To maintain, and improve, your credit record, you need to monitor your spending and ensure you have enough money to cover your debts. - An easy way of doing this is by creating a Spending Plan or Budget. - There are many tools to help you create a budget you can live on: - Budgeting Worksheets from the Office of Financial Management - Websites such as: Mint.com, BudgetSimple.com, MySpendingPlan.com

26 Creating a Budget - Determine your sources of income - Income from work - Financial Aid (if loans, remember you have to pay those back) - Amount available from savings (for students) - Determine your expenses - Look at your expenses from the previous month or two. - If you don t have a record, make one. Track your spending for a month. - If you have costs that you incur every couple of months or once per year (insurance, car registration); break them down to a per month amount so you can include them in your budget.

27 Creating a Budget - Total your monthly income and expenses - Income > Expenses - Reduce Borrowing (while a student) - Put toward your financial goals: increase savings, save for a larger purchase, pay off credit cards or student loans, etc. - Income < Expenses - Identify areas where you can save money - Cover needs first, wants second - Reduce amount you spend on luxury items eating out, entertainment, cable, etc. - Monitor your Budget regularly

28 Resources General Resources: Budgeting: Getting a Free Credit Score: Credit Bureaus: Questions? Contact Student Financial Management Suite 115

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